Scott on track after neck surgery
COWBOYS captain Matt Scott has undergone successful neck surgery for the second time and North Queensland officials are confident he will be back on the field in 2019.
Scott is three weeks into his recovery from a spinal operation which could have brought his stellar career to a premature end.
Scott, 33, carried the issue for much of last season and was restricted to 18 games as North Queensland missed the finals.
Scott has had neck issues since 2006 and underwent his first round of surgery after North Queensland's historic maiden NRL premiership victory in 2015.
The injury resurfaced this year and caused Scott to miss six weeks of action.
With fellow co-captain Johnathan Thurston retiring this year, Scott is expected to lead the Cowboys next season and football boss Peter Parr said the veteran prop was on track to make a full recovery.
"He's had surgery and recovering well," he said.
"Everything has gone well. We expect him to have a full recovery.
"Any time you have surgery on the back or neck there is an element of risk about it.
"There was no reason why the surgery wouldn't have gone to plan, so he should be fine."
Next year is shaping as Scott's 16th and final season in the NRL.
The former Kangaroos and Maroons prop has racked up 251 games for the Cowboys and is desperate to finish his career on his terms.
Parr said Scott would complete the bulk of pre-season training, but may not return with the first group of players on November 5.
"At the moment he is just resting," he said.
"He was happy with how it went and how he was feeling. I expect he will do the majority of the pre-season.
"At his age and the amount of footy he has played he was always going to be on some sort of modified program.
"He would have had that with or without the surgery. Everything is on track."
Halfback Michael Morgan is also on the comeback trail after undergoing bicep and stomach operations.
The bicep injury ended Morgan's season in Round 15 while he carried the stomach and groin issue from the pre-season.
"He is flying," Parr said of Morgan's recovery. "He will be right for the beginning of pre-season training."